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We have been evaluating our Incident Command system lately and there is a lot of discussion about mobile or stationary command. For years we have encouraged our I/C's to stay in their vehicle and take command from that location. Now, we are shifting our thoughts and saying "we need to have the Battalion Chief get out of his vehicle and take command from a mobile position". We don't believe they should be entering the structure, but we believe the I/C needs to hear and smell (figuratively speaking) the action and smoke. When they want something done, they tap the sector officer and talk face-to-face, not through the radio. We believe an I/C who sits in their vehicle is merely a "repeater" and they aren't really calling the shots. A Company Officer who has been assigned a sector is saying "we need ventilation, we need an primary search, we need ......" Again, the I/C is simply saying "that's roger", calling staging sector and asking for fire fighters to perform a task the Company Officer asked for.

Just wondering your thoughts........

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From my opinion of a rural firefighter, I feel that in order to properly know what is happening on the scene and be capable of making the correct decisions you must be mobile. Now that doesn't mean to micromanage your scene by any means, what I mean is that you need to see and hear what your guys are doing, saying, and requesting, from a personal standpoint. requiring every request to be voiced over the radio creates to much radio traffic therefor creating a potentially dangerous situation. That's just my perspective though, I'm looking forward to following this to see others opinions.

Be safe
Great discussion ! Command is something in some areas that is under staffed, we call for additional resources in a lot of areas except for command. As for mobile or stationary sometimes it is the fit that works for your response area. Myself, I like a commander that is on scene and is active with the fire operations via a visual aspect. Furthermore, if the proper resources are called the IC can be stationary and the fire functions can be sectored off to sector leaders or division leaders. The big issue is... STAFFING! Great Topic! Keep up the great work! Your friend, Todd McKee
As always, the amount of management staff at an incident will determine how you can run Incident Command. Having said that; Incident Commanders, Operations Officers, maybe Water Supply and PIO need to be separated from the scene. In the first place, getting emotionally invested in the carnage does not for a cool head make. Being one removed from the incident (assuming good Sector Officers and Company Officers) allows you run the overall job and not get wrapped up watching the vent crew. Second; it's hard to pick out a MAYDAY when you are standing out in the wind with Engines revved up to 1600 RPM. Sitting in a trailer or Suburban, and having someone taking check-in, keeping an eye on the countdown clock and all of the other 'who's on first, what's on second' stuff will allow you to put on a set of headphones and really HEAR that MAYDAY.
The bottom line or me is, Crew Leaders are working bosses, Sector/Division Officers are walking bosses and Incident Commanders are sitting bosses.
Just my thoughts, no heart burn is intended.

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